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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Friday, July 29, 2005

Sojourner Truth

I have been giving a great amount thought recently to the notion that I may be simply, 'pissing in the wind' with this blog. While I receive a fairly decent number of hits on my counter, I rarely receive comments. With the rare exception of a few dedicated bloggers, hardly anyone comments. That's not a problem because I am writing mostly for me - it makes me feel better.

I have wondered whether my comments are too caustic or perhaps considered abrasive. They might be too boring - I'm not fishing for compliments here folks - by some but I am not yet ready to change my message in order to win over a loyal readership. Instead, I have reflected on a black woman that lived nearly 130 years ago during America's transition from slavery to freedom during the Civil War era.

The woman's name was Sojourner Truth. This name was adopted by her after she started protesting for the abolition of slavery. For those of you interested in more detail about her life, Wikipedia has a very concise and detailed account of who she was - You can click here for the link.

I recall during one of my history courses at the University of New Mexico (where I received one of my baccalaureate degrees in History), the story about how Sojourner Truth escaped to Canada and returned to New York when slavery was abolished there - in the North. She stumped throughout the North – north of the Mason-Dixon Line that us - where President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves. She was regularly heckled as she made her speeches on street corners and public squares. Once, a man asked her just what did she think she was going to accomplish being a black woman calling for abolition of slavery. Her response was something so simple yet so profound. I think of it all the time when it seems like my words are small in comparison to the problems and issuesthat I speak out against.

Sojourner Truth responded, ‘Sir, even a little flea can make an ‘ol dog scratch hisself.”

Whenever I get to thinking that I might be wasting my time, I think about Sojourner Truth. What a powerful name. What a powerful thought coming from an uneducated, poor slave woman. She has taught me that we change the world little by little and moreover, it is each of our individual responsibilities to do what we can regardless of how unpopular it might be.
Right is right and wrong is wrong. We all know the difference so it is our duty as World Citizens to leave this planet in better shape than it was given to us. We owe it to our children regardless of their race, class, economic status or lifestyle. Every child on this planet is our child and we should never hurt out children and they deserve better.

She ranks up there with Martin Luther King, Ceasar Chavez, Mohadmas Ghandi and Nelson Mandela for me. Brave, courageous, committed and dedicated to their cause. What a different world we would live in if people like Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, George Bush or Osama Bin Laden emulated such people's paths of righteousness and Humanity.

Speak Out, Speak Up and Speak Often


At Fri Jul 29, 06:16:00 AM MDT, Blogger iamnasra said...

this is so inspiring...Im a mixed race of an African and an Arab...I always thought that even with poetry can do a just a bit of giving to the world of ours...Thank you for giving me the strength to continue on my path...

At Fri Jul 29, 06:46:00 AM MDT, Blogger Liquidplastic said...

You brought tears to these old tired eyes. There are times when I get lost within myself .. but of late your blog has brought me back. I read it all the time. If you don't get comments it's because folks nowadays are afraid to speak thier mind, unless it anonymously. I am never afraid to speak out, just tired of not being heard. God bless you, you not only speak out, you open your ears and listen.

Thank you for all that you do, and please don't stop doing it. It is voices like yours, crying out from the wildness ... that bring peace to many like me. Thank you for your humanity and kindness.

At Fri Jul 29, 04:54:00 PM MDT, Blogger Paul said...

J, two thoughts:

First, your blog is broad minded, inspiring, inclusive - in my opinion, the quality of the writing and pictures is outstanding and distinctive.

Second, the only way I've found to drive up traffic is to post more and more comments to other blogs. Most blog commentators seem to be bloggers themselves. But doing that gets to be time consuming. Your're doing your own posts, plus spending a considerable amount of time on other blogs...

I should add that I've noticed that the correlation between blog quality, at least in my eyes, and how many comments a blog gets, looks pretty weak. Also, I've noticed that if you're a member of a "blog genre," it looks like it would be easier. For example, there are a lot of "progressive Christian blogs" that are very newsy - less thoughtful than yours, and sometimes more interested in attacking conservatives than shedding some light of their own. Then there are the "mom blogs" - mothers interested in showing photos of their kids and talking about that with other moms. And the "romantic young lady blogs," where they do a lot of poetry about romance. If you have a blog that fits into a category, I bet it's easier. You're instantly part of this "community" where everybody's interested in talking to each other.

So your blog doesn't exactly fit in with any club. Mine either. I've had to work hard at posting to other blogs to get as many comments as I've gotten lately. Sometimes I question whether it's taking too much time.

At Fri Jul 29, 08:14:00 PM MDT, Blogger Tazeen Mohsin said...

Wow, I'm still thinking of that line "Sir, even a little flea can make an ‘ol dog scratch hisself.” This lines makes u scratch urself thinking how did she come up with a reply like that?????? I remember reading a quotation once "The truth is still the truth, even if no1 agrees with it n falsehood will remain false no matter who supports it". I completely agree with u to reach out to every child irrespective of all race, colour, creed but not just child every human. Afterall, we all the same from within. God bless.

At Sat Jul 30, 02:38:00 PM MDT, Blogger Renee Wagemans said...

Think about the prophets in the bible
they had no audicience that was willing to listen to guys had to do some pretty weird things as illustration to Gods word.
that is what that lady was doing I think.

Keep on writing, your voice will be heard

At Sat Jul 30, 08:15:00 PM MDT, Blogger Ed said...

Joe, let me offer my diffident smile with the joke I tell about myself. I'm both cynic and optimist. I'm confident our species will continue to improve -- and, in fact, we're capable of being a self-perfecting species. Just not in my lifetime.

In truth, it's worth keeping at it. I'm 67 years old. The first time I was suspended from high school was for trying to organize the band into a union -- so we could get some decent music. The second time -- for belonging to an unauthorized organization that had members of different colors.

The first time I was arrested for sitting down with a Black friend at a drugstore counter and ordering a Coke [1959], was 50 miles from our nation's capitol. There were trade unions, fraternal organizations and political parties, then, that banned officers from being Black, Women or Gay.

I won't bore you with the litany. Yes, I've thought about giving up on this nation and my fellow Americans. We really are packed together in a great jam jar full of ignorance and sugar.

But, you know, keepin' on ain't so difficult, either. I was lucky enough to hear Malcolm on a street corner in Harlem -- and I opened, once, for Dr. King on the streets of Chicago. I'm still walking and talking. And blogging in 3 places.

Your heart surely appears to be in the right place. Your brain seems to be looking around at more than the silliness that passes for political content -- from the trained parrots and politicians. That ain't bad, bro'.

I bumped into your comment over at Cove's. Thought I'd drop by and say, "hello". Keep on keepin' on.


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